Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Seascape initiative stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and protects key marine habitats

25.02.2004


Partners to invest $3.1-mln in marine initiative that encompasses five protected areas & safeguards threatened species in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia & Ecuador



In one of the most ambitious marine conservation initiatives in the western hemisphere, four Latin American nations, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, the United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), Conservation International (CI) and others are consolidating a marine protected area that stretches from Costa Rica to Ecuador and helps safeguard some of the world’s richest marine habitats and dozens of endangered species.

The project, known as the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape, covers 211 million hectares (521 million acres) and extends from Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park to Ecuador’s Galapagos Island National Park and Marine Reserve. Along the way, the Seascape helps link marine protected areas in Panama and Colombia, safeguards an important migratory route for the Endangered blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) and protects one of the last remaining nesting grounds in the Eastern Pacific of the Critically Endangered leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).


Under the agreement, the UN Foundation will invest $1.567 million in the Seascape. CI and their Global Conservation Fund (GCF) will match that amount with the support of a $1.2 million donation from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The four nations that share the Seascape and dozens of partner organizations are expected to put additional millions into the project, which is being led by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre.

The announcement was made today during the opening of the 24th Annual Meeting of the International Sea Turtle Society in San Jose, Costa Rica. The event has drawn more than 1,000 experts from 70 nations, making it the world’s largest gathering of marine turtle researchers.

"Healthy seas are being threatened by rampant commercial fishing, coastal development and a flood of waste and pollutants," said Conservation International’s Chairman of the Board and CEO Peter Seligmann. "It will take international cooperation to keep our oceans healthy and productive. We owe these four nations, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama our thanks and support for working together to conserve one of the planet’s most precious resources."

The Seascape initiative is part of a broader, $15-million agreement between CI, the UN Foundation and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre to conserve current and proposed Natural World Heritage Sites, like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park and Marine Reserve, Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve, and Colombia’s proposed site, Malpelo National Park.

"This alliance to protect the world’s 149 Natural World Heritage Sites gives us the ability to make strategic investments that maximize the likelihood of salvaging these unique and delicate habitats," said Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation. "This Seascape initiative is vitally important to the health of our ocean and we certainly hope it becomes a model for marine conservation around the world."

The initiative comes amid mounting evidence that the ocean is under duress. According to a recent study in Nature, 90 percent of large, predatory fish populations – including tuna and marlin – have disappeared. In addition, 75 percent of all commercial fish populations have either collapsed or are approaching collapse. Despite these trends, marine conservation lags far behind terrestrial initiatives. While about 12 percent of the Earth’s surface is currently protected, less than 1 percent of the ocean enjoys some form of protection.

One of the marine species that has been hardest hit is the leatherback turtle, which has seen its populations decline in the Eastern Pacific by more than 97 percent in the last two decades. The Seascape addresses the threat by incorporating Costa Rica’s Baulas de Guanacaste National Park and its surrounding waters – one of the leatherback’s last nesting grounds on the American Pacific.

"The leatherback turtle is a species that has been around longer than the dinosaur, but unless we take immediate and determined steps to change our current fishing practices and our consumption habits, we will see it disappear within our lifetime," said International Sea Turtle Society President, and CI Vice President Roderic Mast. "The Seascape will help give these magnificent creatures the protection and recognition they so urgently need."

Among the treasures the Seascape will encompass are the Galapagos, home to hundreds of unique and vulnerable species found nowhere else on the planet and as many as 750,000 seabirds, 22 species of reptiles and six species of mammals. Cocos Island is equally rich, with more than 230 plant species, 360 insect species and 85 bird species. The Seascape also encompasses Coiba Island National Park in Panama and Gorgona National Park in Colombia.


The United Nations Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations and its Charter. Through our grantmaking and by building new and innovative public-private partnerships, the United Nations Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. For more information visit: www.unfoundation.org

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre is the secretariat to the World Heritage Convention, signed by 178 countries. The purpose of the convention is to identify sites of outstanding universal value and help conserve them for the benefit of future generations. For more information visit: www.whc.unesco.org

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth’s richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the hotspots, major tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., CI works in almost 40 countries on four continents.

Jim Wyss | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.conservation.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>